Historic drug bust in Anne Arundel Co. leads to arrest of ‘kingpin’

A massive drug bust in Maryland has led to the “largest cocaine recovery from an investigation in Anne Arundel County” history, according to Attorney General Anthony Brown.

Ten people were charged in connection with the investigation into drug trafficking activity in and around Severn and Glen Burnie.

“The deadly drugs that they were peddling and their dangerous activities potentially reached widespread across Maryland,” Brown said.

Those charged face numerous counts, including possession with intent to distribute drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and methamphetamine.

The investigation was led by the Anne Arundel County police, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the attorney general’s organized crime unit.

According to investigators, law enforcement seized more than 18 kilograms of cocaine, 400 grams of heroin, 360 grams of fentanyl and 67 pounds of cannabis. They also seized 21 firearms, according to investigators.

The 18 kilograms of cocaine “is estimated to be valued at approximately $2 million,” Brown said.

“We are determined to disrupt the trafficking of drugs and illegal guns that threaten the safety of our neighborhoods,” Brown added.

As the investigation unfolded, detectives said they observed dozens of hand-to-hand drug transactions and intercepted communications over a wiretap that confirmed the distribution of large amounts of drugs.

One of the 10 people charged in the case is Clayton Mooring, 42, who is charged in a 16-count indictment.

Mooring was allegedly a drug “kingpin” who distributed cocaine in Anne Arundel County and was a supplier for numerous local drug traffickers.

“Detectives learned that Mooring was coordinating the importation of large amounts of cocaine from the area of Houston, Texas by having the cocaine stashed in vehicles that were shipped on car carriers across state lines,” according to a news release from Brown’s office.

The defendants’ cases will be handled in Anne Arundel County and Baltimore City.

“This significant seizure of illegal narcotics and firearms has saved countless lives in Anne Arundel County,” said Amal Awad, the county’s police chief. “I am extremely proud of our investigators.”

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Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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